Current trends in trade and investment: The intolerance of some Western European countries to diktats
While in Italy we are struggling to follow the orders of the United States of America, whether it has a good, bad or sleeping President, the Iranian economy is developing and (as we will see later) some European countries are getting tired of following the instructions from across the Atlantic which, under the pretext of human rights, have created and imposed the sanctions that first of all damage Western economies, which are then forced to turn to the West at higher prices, or be reimbursed by the States themselves, i.e. at the expense of their citizens. But let us look at the fast developing Iranian economy.
In 2021, the Islamic Republic of Iran had a 59.1% trade-to-GDP ratio and merchandise trade accounted for 88.2 per cent of total trade. From 2017 to 2021 Iran’s merchandise exports decreased by 0.3 per cent and merchandise imports increased by 2.7 per cent nominally each year on average.
Merchandise exports grew slower than the Asia-Pacific region’s annual growth of 9.6 per cent during the same period. Similarly, Iran’s merchandise imports lagged behind the Asia-Pacific region’s annual growth of 10.1 per cent.
In 2021, Iran’s merchandise exports increased by 52.7 per cent and imports grew by a nominal 26.4 per cent. Looking ahead, Iran’s merchandise exports are expected to grow by 10.2 per cent in 2022 and by a more modest 1.9 per cent in 2023.
On the import side, Iran is expected to grow by 12.4 per cent in 2022 and by 10 per cent in 2023, while the Asia-Pacific region is expected to grow by 13 per cent in 2022 and by a more moderate 2.5 per cent in 2023. The share of service trade in Iran’s total trade was equal to 11.8 per cent in 2021. Over the 2017-2021 period, Iran’s exports of commercial services decreased by 9 per cent annually and imports of commercial services decreased by a 6.6% yearly average in nominal terms, lower than the average growth of 3.7% and 1.7% in the Asia-Pacific region, respectively.
In 2021, Iran’s service exports grew by 20.9 per cent, following a 56.4% year-on-year fall in 2020. Exports in the Asia-Pacific region grew by 18.8 per cent in 2021, after decreasing by 21.4 per cent in 2020. Iran’s imports of commercial services recovered by 52.3 per cent in 2021, compared to a 15.2% growth in the Asia-Pacific region.
Sector-wise, “travel services” accounted for 40.3 per cent of Iran’s total trade in business services in 2021, followed by “transport services” at 34.9 per cent and “other business services” at 7.7 per cent. The main support for Iran’s service export growth in the 2017-2021 period was “ICT services”. ICT stands for Information and Communications Technology and refers to all processes and practices related to transmitting, receiving and processing data and information.
On the import side, “transport services” contributed the most to the growth of trade services, increasing by a 5.6% yearly average over the same period. Looking ahead, Iran’s service exports are expected to increase by 15 per cent in 2022 and by 10 per cent in 2023.
Comparatively, exports to the Asia-Pacific region are expected to grow by 8.9 per cent in 2022 and by 8 per cent in 2023. Meanwhile, by comparison, Iran’s imports of services are expected to increase by 20.7 per cent in 2022 and by 10.1 per cent in 2023. Exports are expected to increase by 10.5 per cent in 2022 and by 4.5 per cent in 2023.
In 2021 Iran’s main merchandise trading partner was the People’s Republic of China, accounting for 44.6 per cent of its exports and 28.9 per cent of its imports. 2.5 per cent of Iran’s exports and 23 per cent of Iran’s imports by value were traded with the United Arab Emirates, its second largest trading partner. Other important trading partners were Turkey, Brazil, Germany, India, Italy, Ukraine (before the conflict), Oman and Pakistan. The largest category of products exported by Iran in 2021 was “ethylene polymers, in primary forms”, with a 23.7% export share of total exports, followed by the second largest category, namely “nuts” (excluding coconuts, Brazil nuts and cashews) – fresh or dried, including shelled or peeled ones – which accounted for 6.4 per cent of Iran’s total exports.
In terms of imports, telephones – including telephones for mobile or other wireless networks – as well as other devices for transmitting or receiving voice, images or other data (including wired/wireless networks), accounted for 13.8 per cent of total imports, standing out as the first category of imported products.
Meanwhile, maize (corn) had a 5.3% share and was the second largest imported product. Iran is currently not a WTO member (but an observer) and therefore no notified detailed tariff information is available.
From 2017 to 2021 Iran recorded an 11.5% average annual decrease in IDE inflows (Integrated Design Environment or Integrated Debugging Environment, i.e. a software that, in the programming phase, supports programmers in developing and debugging source codes, i.e. in searching for and correcting errors in the operation of a system or programme), which was lower than the 3.8% average annual growth in IDE inflows recorded in the Asia-Pacific region.
In 2021 Iran recorded a 6.2% increase in IDE inflows. It recorded a 4.3% average annual decline in IDE outflows over the past five years, which was also lower than the 3.2% average annual growth in IDE outflows recorded in the Asia-Pacific region.
In 2021 Iran recorded a 4.1% increase in IDE outflows. Iran’s trade costs with the large developing economies of China, India, Indonesia and the Russian Federation were the lowest.
In 2018 trade costs with large Asia-Pacific developing economies averaged 103.4 per cent of the value of goods, compared to the time and situation in which countries trade these goods within their borders.
Trade costs with the economies of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea, as well as with Germany, France and the UK, were the highest, at 132.6 per cent and 155.4 per cent, respectively. Since 2018 Iran has ranked in the 63rd percentile for logistics services among the other countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
Iran had seven trade agreements in force, no signed agreements pending ratification, and two trade agreements under negotiation as of 2021. A 43.5% share of the country’s total exports for the year went to its trading partners, while 52.4 per cent of its total imports came from trade agreement partners.
As mentioned above, the sanctions and unilateral restrictions imposed by some Western countries on Iran have damaged the Western economy because they have isolated these companies from the Iranian market, and many people are complaining, especially in Spain.
Since the imposition of sanctions, Iran has found alternative options to Western companies. It buys goods from other countries, but the economic crisis in European countries has led to a situation in which European companies will be dissatisfied with the political decisions made by some other-directed European governments.
Spain considers itself a victim of the sanctions imposed on Iran by its Atlantic allies and, therefore, Spanish companies are trying to find ways to develop relations with Iran. Indeed, if we actually look at the nature of these sanctions, we realise that they have caused more damage to Western countries than they have caused Spain, in particular, to lose the large Iranian market. Spanish companies doing business in Iran have repeatedly criticised their government for implementing sanctions. If in Italy there is any company that complains about such situation, silence falls and nobody talks about it.
European countries – as it is ridiculous to use the word “Europe” as expression of a single will – have a desire to prevent their companies from being subjected to sanctions imposed by the United States for bilateral spite that is rooted in modern history. The main problem is the possibility of implementing US sanctions extraterritorially, as well as the possibility that, besides Iranian companies, the European companies that are already working with Iran may – in turn – become the target of US sanctions pressure.
If Europe succeeds in defending its own interests, it should ensure that US sanctions against Iran do not affect European companies. Moreover, if the Europeans succeed in defending their own real independence, a precedent will be set when the fate of sanctions is decided without reference to single-State policy and third-country legislation.
European countries are clearly under economic pressure and the USA has not only refused to conclude the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), but also intends to set quotas for steel and aluminium imports from the EU. Furthermore, the compensatory measures provided by EU governments to the companies that may be subject to US secondary sanctions do not fully compensate for the costs, besides weighing on the European citizens’ shoulders.
Brick By Brick, BRICS Now a New Bridge for a New World
Measuring BRICS in single decades, in 2001, BRIC started as an acronym for Brazil, Russia, India, and China; Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill claimed that by 2050 the four BRIC economies would come to dominate the global economy. So South Africa was added to BRIC in 2010. The following countries are now expressing interest in joining: Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sudan, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe. Is this now the awakening of BRICS+ or BRICS power?
BRICS+ by 2030 will add dozen new members and carve new indices, and by 2040, it will lead to new intellectualism on geopolitics and socio-economies for the super complex 2050 age of smart living.
Historically, BRICS nations pushed on their people-power agenda over super-power titles. They made extreme value-creation economic models over focusing on powerful military-industrial complexes. They focused on nation-building and avoided special mandates to manage global affairs. They have been on a quest to upgrade them. They were feeding hungry mouths, as they were population rich, constantly up-skilling, and improving value creation as they were SME rich. They kept a steady watch to create multilateralism to uplift humankind.
They, too, made mistakes, as did the rest of the world
In the third decade of the third millennium, come 2020, three transformations erupted. First, futurism changed the rules on the ‘physicality of work’ and created a new imbalance with the ‘mentality of performance’; this has divided the workforce of world; the old system of over a billion commuting daily to the center of a complex maze to arrive daily at the sanctum of the company and create climate change. So now, in response, some 50% of the world’s workforce has chosen to stay away and work remotely in the surroundings of wide-open choices. Furthermore, technology uplifted micro-power-nations and exposed Western economies now stripped naked in bubble baths on slippery floors, they tippy-toe practicing conga-lines
Newly magnified economy: Behold, what microscopes exposed the magnified inner workings of the body. Similarly, the integrated networks have exposed the digital connectivity and working of millions of villages, cities, and nations with additional billions of people to interact, trade, improve grassroots prosperity and create a well-informed and opinionated citizenry. Some 100 years ago, if only 1% of the world’s population knew what was happening, today it is a dozen times more, and by 2030 double again. Why would these numbers change the global economic matrix when translated into micro-trading, micro-manufacturing, and micro-exporting? International opinion today is already strong enough to crush any national opinion of any nation still lingering under the illusion of a self-promoted victory.
When the SME sector already exists within each nation, the global markets are always hungry for good quality goods and services, and the rains of almost free digital technologies make such transformation a quick turnaround. Therefore, mindsets are critically essential; the need to define the difference between the job seeker mindset that builds the organizations and the job creator mindset that originates and creates that organization in the first place.
So what are the lessons, key features, and blueprints in sight?
Mistakes and new lessons: Last many decades, as the new world was rising, Western citizens felt like China experts, and their regular visits to local China towns restaurants in each city misguided them that Laundromat trained Chinese could only produce some chicken fried rice. Ever since the advent of the camera, the East was always projected as poor and dysfunctional; mesmerized by the media coverage during the last many decades, the West was equally convinced that India, a land of only snake charmers and fakirs, finally someday speak better English. The general perceptions about Asia, besides eating rice, if they could ever make cheaper products for the West. The rest is history, mistakes, and lessons.
After the big ding-dong nights of 2000 New Year’s Eve, today’s new story starts from the 20th chapter. Now China and India alone have created some 500 million new entrepreneurs, not by a magic pill or meta-crypto-wand but by National Mobilization of Entrepreneurialism, a slow, painful deployment of SMEs across the nation, and by creating mobilization protocols to identify, classify, and digitizing based on multiple factors from type and size to the evaluation of their “respectable” role in future communities and economic factors. This methodology was far more advanced in strategy and stern management over the globalization frenzy from the West, where sudden exporting of manufacturing of the industrial plants to kill manufacturing and destroying the middle class out of the West already declared globalization a great success.
The other mistake is to assume this is an economic or an academic study, at best, like an Oscar Slap on sleepy rotundas occupied with endless printing of money across the Western economies. Instead, this is an entrepreneurial response for the entrepreneurial nations to awaken hidden entrepreneurial talents in up-skilling SMEs and re-skilling manufacturers at national levels.
Recommendations and warnings: No airline can survive with only Flight Engineers and Frequent Flyers stuffed inside the cockpits; that space is only reserved for highly trained pilots. Henceforth, across the world, any economic development of any size, shape, or authority may find other more suitable alternate paths of occupation if they still cannot demonstrate any levels of understanding, applicable skills, or mobilization mastery on the National Mobilization of Entrepreneurialism to up-skill exporters and re-skill manufactures and uplift national SME sector as the most prominent economic contributor of the nation. Study the biggest error of economic thinking
Underestimating the hidden powers of early thinking and starting a tiny unknown SME is a mistake of mindsets; here, entrepreneurialism like a saga unfolds, like a voluminous piece of literature but demanding literacy, understanding the job seeker mindsets and the ability to differentiate with entrepreneurial job creator mindset is already winning half the battle. Study the Mindset Hypotheses
Nations failing to realize the power of the billion SME rising in Asia and still unable to declare a national agenda of national mobilization of SMEs now must acquire an understanding of the 4B Factor: a billion displaced due to the pandemic, a billion replaced due to technology, a billion misplaced in wrong jobs now a billion on starvation watch. Furthermore, this 4 billion ever digitally connected mass of people ever in the history of humankind is now the most significant force of global opinion. Notice nations are already intoxicated with joy over the popularity of their national public opinion while having just an opposite international opinion on the world stage.
Recommendation; everyone is born an entrepreneur; our system chips away at this talent. Nevertheless, 10% to 50% high potential SMEs of any nation once are identified, classified, and digitized within 100 days. The uplifting digital platforms of up-skilling exporters and re-skilling manufacturers will result in 10% to 50% quadrupling their performance, productivity, and profitability. Imagine how much-regimented efforts will activate a positive national economic revolution based on real value creation, uplifting grassroots prosperity. How soon is a nation ready for a significant change? The rest is easy.
Promoting Economic Security: Enhancing Stability and Well-being
The stability and well-being of people, communities, and countries are critically dependent on economic security. It covers a range of topics, such as access to necessities, work opportunities, stable incomes, and defense against economic shocks. The need of guaranteeing economic security has increased significantly in the modern world, which is characterized by technical developments, geopolitical shifts, and unexpected disasters. The importance of economic security is examined in this article, along with important tactics for promoting adaptability and preserving people’s quality of life.
The value of economic security to individuals, communities, and countries cannot be overstated. By fostering an atmosphere where people and families can achieve their basic needs without suffering undue stress, it promotes stability. Because of this stability, people can recuperate and start over after severe shocks like economic downturns, natural disasters, or health crises.
Furthermore, economic security contributes to social cohesion by reducing inequality and fostering inclusivity. When individuals feel economically secure, they are more likely to actively participate in society, contribute to their communities, and engage in productive endeavors. This sense of security leads to greater social harmony and a collective feeling of prosperity.
Moreover, economic security is vital for long-term sustainable development. It enables individuals and societies to invest in education, healthcare, infrastructure, and innovation. These investments drive economic growth, improve overall well-being, and create the foundation for a prosperous future. By ensuring economic security, countries can build resilient and sustainable economies that benefit their citizens and contribute to global progress.
To enhance economic security, several key strategies can be implemented. Firstly, governments and businesses should prioritize diversifying their economies by promoting sectors with growth potential and resilience. By reducing reliance on a single industry or market, countries can mitigate the impact of economic downturns and build a more robust and diversified economy.
Investing in education and skills development is another crucial strategy. Governments and organizations must focus on providing quality education, vocational training, and lifelong learning opportunities. Equipping individuals with the necessary tools and knowledge enables them to adapt to changing economic landscapes and remain competitive in the job market.
Strong social safety nets are necessary to protect people during times of economic upheaval. The most disadvantaged populations should be given priority in the design and implementation of comprehensive social welfare systems by the government. Creating a safety net for all citizens entails implementing programs for income support, healthcare coverage, and unemployment benefits.
Promoting entrepreneurship and innovation can create new opportunities for economic growth and job creation. Governments can support aspiring entrepreneurs by providing access to capital, mentorship programs, and favorable regulatory environments. Embracing technological advancements and fostering a culture of innovation further enhances economic security, particularly in an increasingly digital world.
International cooperation is essential since economic security is a global issue. Cooperation between nations is necessary to advance ethical business practices, lessen economic inequality, and improve financial stability. Initiating discourse, coordinating policy, and assisting nations in economic crises are all important functions of multilateral organizations.
Societies can improve their economic security and create a more secure and prosperous future by putting these strategies into practice: diversifying the economy, investing in education and skills, creating social safety nets, encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation, and fostering international cooperation.
Having economic security is crucial in a world that is uncertain and changing quickly. Governments, corporations, and individuals may all work together to create an environment that promotes economic security by putting a priority on stability, resilience, and inclusivity. We can create a more resilient and prosperous future for everybody through diversity, education, social safety nets, entrepreneurship, and international cooperation. By making investments in financial stability, we build a more just and sustainable world.
The Impact of Globalization on the South Asian Economy
Globalization refers to the process by which economies, societies, and cultures from different countries become integrated with one another. The economies of the countries that make up South-East Asia, which include India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, have been significantly impacted by the spread of globalization in recent decades. The effects of globalization on the economies of South Asian countries have been mixed, with some positive and some negative results.
Positive Impacts of Globalization on the South Asian Economy
The expansion of South-East Asia’s trade and investment opportunities is one of the aspects of globalization that has had the most positive impact on the region’s economy. Because of its large consumer base, low labor costs, and strategic location, the region has become an attractive destination for foreign investors. As a consequence of this, the level of foreign direct investment (FDI) in South Asia has significantly increased, which has led to the development of new industries and the production of new jobs.
The expansion of the service industry in Sout-East Asia can also be attributed to the effects of globalization. South Asian countries have emerged as a hub for the outsourcing of services such as information technology (IT) and business process outsourcing as a result of the emergence of new technologies and the increased availability of skilled labor (BPO). As a direct consequence of this, the area has benefited from an increase in both the number of available jobs and the amount of money it brings.
Last but not least, globalization has facilitated greater cultural interaction and integration throughout South-East Asia. The region possesses a significant cultural legacy, and the advent of globalization has made it possible for South Asian music, films, and cuisine to become popular all over the world. This has not only contributed to a greater awareness of the region’s cultural heritage, but it has also opened up new doors for the travel and hospitality industry.
Negative Impacts of Globalization on the South-East Asian Economy
Even though there have been some positive effects, there have also been some negative effects that globalization has had on the South Asian economy. The widening gap between rich and poor is one of the most pressing problems that we face today. The advantages brought about by globalization have accrued almost entirely to a relatively small number of people, which has contributed to a widening income gap. As a consequence of this, social unrest and a wider gap in incomes have emerged.
Another significant obstacle that has been presented is the displacement of workers and traditional industries. Due to the effects of globalization, many smaller businesses have been forced to shut down, and their employees have been relocated to larger companies that are more productive. As a consequence of this, there has been an increase in unemployment as well as social unrest, particularly in rural areas.
Globalization has contributed to the deterioration of the environment in South Asia. The region has seen a growth in industries such as the textile industry, both of which have had a significant impact on the environment as a result of their expansion. The population’s health and well-being have suffered as a direct result of environmental degradation, which can be traced back to the increased consumption of natural resources and the improper disposal of waste produced by industrial processes.
The economy of the South-East Asian region has been affected in both positive and negative ways by the phenomenon of globalization. While it has resulted in the growth of industries and increased cultural exchange, it has also resulted in the displacement of workers and the widening of income inequality. While it has contributed to the growth of industries and increased cultural exchange, it has also resulted in the displacement of workers. In order to address these challenges, policy interventions that foster inclusive growth, protect the environment, and create new opportunities for the population will be required. By acting in this manner, countries in South Asia will be able to take advantage of globalization’s positive aspects while mitigating some of its more damaging effects.
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